It’s raining cats and dogs in Central Cali today. Perfect blogging weather. Here are some warm, dry snacks:

* Newark Mayor Corey Booker rescues neighbor from burning house, reports to hospital for treatment of smoke inhalation and burns. Wow. Funniest comment, from a Tweet: “In response, Chris Christie rescues a pizza from a burning oven.”

* Failed satellite launch will cost North Korea estimated billion smackers. Good thing they can afford it.

* Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin chased by bears raiding his bird-feeders. Don’t want to mess with bears hungry enough to eat bird seed, Guv.

* Poll shows lonely UT Democratic Rep. Jim Matheson narrowly leading potential GOP opponents.

* Since Romney Camp forgot to break out champagne to toast anniversary of RomneyCare, Obama campaign did it for them. Very courteous gesture, eh?

And in non-political news:

* Angst in Red Sox Nation starts early this year.

Back before long for the week’s stretch drive.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.